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Wednesday, 30 January, 2002, 12:34 GMT
AOL Time Warner reports $1.8bn loss
AOL Time Warner, the US media giant, has reported a $1.8bn net loss for the fourth quarter of 2001.

The result reflected a $1.7bn write-off of investments as well as costs related to the merger of internet service provider AOL with Time Warner.

It compared with a $1.1bn net loss in the same period a year earlier.

Chief executive Jerry Levin said the company had achieved strong results for 2001 as a whole "in a difficult overall economy and weak advertising market".

More cost cuts

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, Mr Levin said AOL Time Warner would launch new products and services while also cutting costs further.

He said the company's business plan for 2002 assumed no recovery in the economy.

The results were in line with a reduced outlook that the company had issued earlier this month.

For months, AOL Time Warner had stood by targets announced in January 2000 while many rivals slashed expectations.

It later fell into line with media peers, cutting its outlook twice.

'Flat' prospects

The company said it had added 1.9 million new subscribers to its internet service in the fourth quarter of last year, taking AOL's subscriber base to 33.2 million.

Advertising and commerce revenues were down 14% in the quarter.

Profits excluding a number of charges and revenue were expected to be "essentially flat" in the first quarter of this year, AOL Time Warner said.

See also:

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